Read Clint Decker’s October’s HOPE FOR TODAY column post here or on the column site.
One day as I was checking out from a store and visiting with the clerk about random things, he said to me “We are in trouble!” referring to world and national events. He is not alone in his line of thinking. Many people I visit with are very concerned about the state of our world no matter if they are religious or not.
Honestly, they have a reason to be. The natural disasters America is experiencing with monumental flooding and raging fires is displacing tens of thousands and causing hundreds of millions in damages. The death tolls our major cities are facing due to violence are higher than what our soldiers have faced on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. The effect of political ideology and battles are reaching with devastating effects, to the smallest corners of our society. Even so, in the face of this I have tremendous optimism.
First, I understand where all this craziness is coming from so it comes without alarm. We live in a place where there is a God who is good, and a Devil who is evil. These opposing forces naturally lead to ongoing spiritual battles that are revealed in our daily news headlines. Jesus spoke of this when He said, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The work of the thief produces chaos leading to pessimism, while the work of Jesus produces hope leading to optimism.
The reason I believe these are great days is because of Jesus’ resurrection centuries ago. There is a common phrase in Christian circles that goes, “Because He lives, I live.” This speaks of the victory Jesus won through His cross. Leading up to His epic victory, evil and its allies threw every form of attack at Him. When He was arrested, tried and sentenced to death – they rejoiced. When He was tortured – they cheered. When He was nailed to the cross and died – they rose in a spirit of achievement. When He was buried – they celebrated.
Then three days later the tables were turned. Suddenly, Jesus was revived! He rose from the dead! He walked victoriously out of His own tomb! Evil cried out in anguish at His triumph. He won! Evil was defeated! Evil no longer was the world’s Dictator. People can now have optimism and hope in the face of violence and destruction.
Because He lives, so can we! Because He overcame, so can we overcome! Because He was victorious, so can we be victorious! Because of Jesus’ resurrection, no matter the circumstances, there is ALWAYS a future and hope! If we turn from our sin and place our trust fully in Jesus, His victory and hope will be ours.